Lost Melnibonean

Melisandre’s Visions

7 posts in this topic

From Melisandre, Dance 31...

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Three tallow candles burned upon her windowsill to keep the terrors of the night at bay. Four more flickered beside her bed, two to either side.

It’s kind of ironic that she has seven candles burning.

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The red priestess closed her eyes and said a prayer, then opened them once more to face the hearthfire. One more time. She had to be certain. Many a priest and priestess before her had been brought down by false visions, by seeing what they wished to see instead of what the Lord of Light had sent.

She knows that she’s not always correct.

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Stannis was marching south into peril, the king who carried the fate of the world upon his shoulders, Azor Ahai reborn. Surely R'hllor would vouchsafe her a glimpse of what awaited him. Show me Stannis, Lord, she prayed. Show me your king, your instrument.

So, whatever she sees here, the reader ought to be able to relate it to the promised prince and the final main conflict.  

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Visions danced before her, gold and scarlet, flickering, forming and melting and dissolving into one another, shapes strange and terrifying and seductive.

This is descriptive of fire. I think it is meant to pull the reader in so that the reader sees the flames as Melisandre does.

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She saw the eyeless faces again, staring out at her from sockets weeping blood.

Eyeless faces are blind. Eyes weeping blood suggests to me that death follows knowledge. Since the eyes are blind, and since we are talking about the endgame here, the vision suggests to me that the lack of knowledge will be the doom of man.

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Then the towers by the sea, crumbling as the dark tide came sweeping over them, rising from the depths.

The towers could be anything. In fact, they might not even be a single location, but rather, they might represent the world that man has built. The terms “tide” and “rising from the depths” definitely evoke images of the sea, which is what Melisandre probably sees in the fire, but a tide can be symbolic of any overwhelming force, and rising from the depths can mean death conquering life. So, if the visions so far are symbolic, Melisandre (as well as the reader) is being told that if men do not realize their true peril, they will become extinct.

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Shadows in the shape of skulls, skulls that turned to mist, bodies locked together in lust, writhing and rolling and clawing.

Oh man, this is tough. Shadows and skulls suggest death, and mist makes me think Bloodraven. The bodies locked together in lust makes me recall this from Daenerys VIII, Game 64...

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Inside the tent the shapes were dancing, circling the brazier and the bloody bath, dark against the sandsilk, and some did not look human. She glimpsed the shadow of a great wolf, and another like a man wreathed in flames.

And that makes me think of the union of Lyanna and Rhaegar, which of course created Jon Snow.

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Through curtains of fire great winged shadows wheeled against a hard blue sky.

Perhaps this suggests that the dragons are necessary for men to turn back the tide of darkness? Perhaps I am going down a rabbit hole, but it seems to me that this passage is symbolic of the final main conflict as a whole: The others are coming to destroy the world of men, and all life, really, but Jon Snow, the promised prince of dragonblood, the Ice Dragon, and the offspring of the Mother of Dragons, currently chowing down on the likes of Hazzea, can save the world.

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The girl. I must find the girl again, the grey girl on the dying horse. Jon Snow would expect that of her, and soon. It would not be enough to say the girl was fleeing. He would want more, he would want the when and where, and she did not have that for him. She had seen the girl only once. A girl as grey as ash, and even as I watched she crumbled and blew away.

So, we have three candidates for that one... Alys, Arya, and Jenye Poole. All or one of them will die.

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A face took shape within the hearth. Stannis? she thought, for just a moment … but no, these were not his features. A wooden face, corpse white. Was this the enemy? A thousand red eyes floated in the rising flames. He sees me. Beside him, a boy with a wolf's face threw back his head and howled.

Well, that’s Bloodraven and Bran, who, as we know, are playing their role in the final main conflict.

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The red priestess shuddered. Blood trickled down her thigh, black and smoking. The fire was inside her, an agony, an ecstasy, filling her, searing her, transforming her. Shimmers of heat traced patterns on her skin, insistent as a lover's hand. Strange voices called to her from days long past. "Melony," she heard a woman cry. A man's voice called, "Lot Seven." She was weeping, and her tears were flame. And still she drank it in.

I think @yolkboy has the leading theory on this bit, that Melisandre is the daughter of Bloodraven and Shiera Seastar, and while I think that theory is a good one, I don’t think we necessarily have to reach that conclusion. She wed the fire when she became a priestess of R’hllor, and well, she’s mating with her lover here, but she recalls, most likely for the benefit of the reader and a slowly unraveling revelation, her youth when she was sold into slavery, presumably to the priests of a red temple, perhaps the big one in Volantis. She was weeping tears of flame, like the blood, so the cost of the visions, what she sees in the flames, is killing her, but still, she drinks it in.

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Snowflakes swirled from a dark sky and ashes rose to meet them, the grey and the white whirling around each other ...

That sounds like a song of ice and fire, no?

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as flaming arrows arced above a wooden wall and dead things shambled silent through the cold, beneath a great grey cliff where fires burned inside a hundred caves.

That sounds like wights attacking the free folk at Hardhome, but being driven back by men armed with fire arrows, until...

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Then the wind rose and the white mist came sweeping in, impossibly cold, and one by one the fires went out.

Damned Others.

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Afterward only the skulls remained.

Death, thought Melisandre. The skulls are death.

Bummer.

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The flames crackled softly, and in their crackling she heard the whispered name Jon Snow.

See? Whether you love him or hate him, the special snowflake is the promised prince.

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His long face floated before her, limned in tongues of red and orange, appearing and disappearing again, a shadow half-seen behind a fluttering curtain. Now he was a man, now a wolf, now a man again. But the skulls were here as well, the skulls were all around him. Melisandre had seen his danger before, had tried to warn the boy of it. Enemies all around him, daggers in the dark. He would not listen.

Unbelievers never listened until it was too late.

That sure seems like a foreshadowing of the Ides of Marsh, Jon’s death, Jon’s second life in Ghost, and his eventual rebirth.

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"What do you see, my lady?" the boy asked, softly.

Skulls. A thousand skulls, and the bastard boy again. Jon Snow. Whenever she was asked what she saw within her fires, Melisandre would answer, "Much and more," but seeing was never as simple as those words suggested. It was an art, and like all arts it demanded mastery, discipline, study. Pain. That too. R'hllor spoke to his chosen ones through blessed fire, in a language of ash and cinder and twisting flame that only a god could truly grasp. Melisandre had practiced her art for years beyond count, and she had paid the price. There was no one, even in her order, who had her skill at seeing the secrets half-revealed and half-concealed within the sacred flames. Yet now she could not even seem to find her king. I pray for a glimpse of Azor Ahai, and R' hllor shows me only Snow.

For me, this wraps up the whole passage. We see death and the means to fight it. Melisandre has wedded the fire, and it is killing her, although she has prolonged her life through sorcery. Her interpretation of the visions is clearly fallible (as if we didn’t know). And Jon, not Stannis (or Daenerys) is the promised prince.

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Posted (edited)

27 minutes ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

Perhaps this suggests that the dragons are necessary for men to turn back the tide of darkness? Perhaps I am going down a rabbit hole, but it seems to me that this passage is symbolic of the final main conflict as a whole: The others are coming to destroy the world of men, and all life, really, but Jon Snow, the promised prince of dragonblood, the Ice Dragon, and the offspring of the Mother of Dragons, currently chowing down on the likes of Hazzea, can save the world.

So, we have three candidates for that one... Alys, Arya, and Jenye Poole. All or one of them will die.

 

What are your thoughts on the girl in grey not actually heading North? Mel's visions are extremely subjective. Nowhere in there does she get any indication of the direction of the girl. She assumes North. Perhaps she is wrong and the girl isn't heading North to the Wall. But South alongside the western shore of Gods Eye lake. Which would rule out the obvious red herrings in Jeyne and Alys. Leaving Arya making this journey at a future point in the story. 

Edited by DutchArya

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2 hours ago, DutchArya said:

What are your thoughts on the girl in grey not actually heading North? Mel's visions are extremely subjective. Nowhere in there does she get any indication of the direction of the girl. She assumes North. Perhaps she is wrong and the girl isn't heading North to the Wall. But South alongside the western shore of Gods Eye lake. Which would rule out the obvious red herrings in Jeyne and Alys. Leaving Arya making this journey at a future point in the story. 

If the girl is Arya, note that she was grey, like, a Stark should be, but grey as ash that crumbles and blows away... to nothing? Might that suggest that she is turning into No One? Truly? I have no doubt that we will see Ayra return to Westeros and wreak some havoc. Anyone left on her list who isn't dead by some other hand will be dead by hers, and I expect she will discover Petyr's involvement in her house's demise. I have a feeling that Tyrion might be the one to tell her. 

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49 minutes ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

If the girl is Arya, note that she was grey, like, a Stark should be, but grey as ash that crumbles and blows away... to nothing? Might that suggest that she is turning into No One? Truly? I have no doubt that we will see Ayra return to Westeros and wreak some havoc. Anyone left on her list who isn't dead by some other hand will be dead by hers, and I expect she will discover Petyr's involvement in her house's demise. I have a feeling that Tyrion might be the one to tell her. 

Maybe the crumbling thing is just illustrative of Arya's journey to becoming No One. It's all Mel saw before the vision ends, but we know Arya doesn't become No One and doesn't *truly* fade away.     

I think there is significance to the Gods Eye and Arya's story. The Isle of Faces was mentioned, with the lake calling to Arya. More interactions with the CoTF - perhaps Bran guides her there as well. 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, DutchArya said:

Maybe the crumbling thing is just illustrative of Arya's journey to becoming No One. It's all Mel saw before the vision ends, but we know Arya doesn't become No One and doesn't *truly* fade away.     

I think you are most likely correct, but I am not entirely convinced. 

2 hours ago, DutchArya said:

I think there is significance to the Gods Eye and Arya's story. The Isle of Faces was mentioned, with the lake calling to Arya. More interactions with the CoTF - perhaps Bran guides her there as well. 

I could see that vision being the God's Eye. 

Edited by Lost Melnibonean

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Posted (edited)

On 3/16/2017 at 1:10 PM, Lost Melnibonean said:
Quote

Then the towers by the sea, crumbling as the dark tide came sweeping over them, rising from the depths.

The towers could be anything. In fact, they might not even be a single location, but rather, they might represent the world that man has built. The terms “tide” and “rising from the depths” definitely evoke images of the sea, which is what Melisandre probably sees in the fire, but a tide can be symbolic of any overwhelming force, and rising from the depths can mean death conquering life. So, if the visions so far are symbolic, Melisandre (as well as the reader) is being told that if men do not realize their true peril, they will become extinct.

 

Quote

Shadows in the shape of skulls, skulls that turned to mist, bodies locked together in lust, writhing and rolling and clawing.

 

Oh man, this is tough. Shadows and skulls suggest death, and mist makes me think Bloodraven. The bodies locked together in lust makes me recall this from Daenerys VIII, Game 64...@yolkboy

 

I guess there could possibly be some additional meanings behind these visions??? Maybe these two visions go together- step 1, step 2? In the books, Drogon is referred to as a shadow several times, and Dany loves to be in the water (lots of baths and she is totally at home on a ship), so maybe this is Dany arriving in King's Landing with her ships and she on Drogo's back, and then the skulls are Aegon, whose skull was dashed, but he has a new skull in the form of the Golden Company :P

Also, the mist could be referring to a "mist of time" concept because often see mist hovering about when a character goes through some sort of time screwy mess up with the perception of time. So Aegon returning with Blackfyres is a loop in time.

I know this is a rando thought, but this topic has been on my mind a lot lately.

(Also, I think Jhogo will be the treason for blood. But that is another thread.)

Edited by The Fattest Leech
Sloppy spelling again. Sorry. One of my cats was on my lap kneeding the hell out of my legs and while suffering through the pain I ended up typing like a monkey. Oh well.

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I just had a thought that it is possible there is another candidate for Mel' vision - Shireen. Unless I am totally misremembering, Mel only interpreted the vision as the girl fleeing TO Jon and as fleeing from a marriage. But in fact, she only sees the "girl as grey as ash, and even as I watched she crumbled and blew away."  (The grey as ash and crumbling being the greyscale, of course)

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